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Prudhomme: It's not for me to guarantee a clean Tour de France

Cycling News
May 2, 2013, 08:14,
May 2, 2013, 09:05
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, May 2, 2013
Tour de France
Christophe Prudhomme shows the 2013 Tour de France route

Christophe Prudhomme shows the 2013 Tour de France route

  • Christophe Prudhomme shows the 2013 Tour de France route
  • The doping control van isn't hard to miss.
  • Christophe Prudhomme unveils the 2013 Tour de France route
  • Lance Armstrong will wave goodbye to his 7 Tour titles

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Says cycling has moved on from Armstrong

Christian Prudhomme said that cycling is no longer "the little ugly duckling" insisting that the sport has moved on following the Lance Armstrong affair.

The Tour de France boss was speaking in Sydney, Australia to promote the 100th edition of the grand tour.

"That's the past," Prudhomme told AAP of the man who rode to seven Tour de France titles before being stripped of them last year in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation. "He [Armstrong] wasn't there last year, he wasn't there the year before.

"We can't keep an image in the media from the past in what's happening now. Cycling is not a perfect world, but it's changed."

Earlier this week, the UCI confirmed that it will work in partnership with the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) for the rest of the season, improving the quality of testing and intelligence before this year's Tour de France.

The two bodies have been at odds in recent years and especially in recent months regarding the quality of testing and the access to the data from the UCI's Biological Passport programme. The AFLD refused to work with the UCI this spring, citing the Federation's "serious mistakes" made in the past and the effects of the Lance Armstrong affair.

The UCI announced that CADF (the UCI's Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) and AFLD will now combine resources and expertise to organise and provide anti-doping tests, for the Critérium du Dauphiné in June and the Tour de France in July.

Prudhomme, clearly pleased with the anti-doping effort being made by his organisation, said that despite the rigorous testing regime, he still could not guarantee a clean race.

"I would like to know what would happen in other sporting events and sporting circles if they were as rigorous in terms of rules as the Tour de France," Prudhomme said.

"There are a lot of sporting events where the French anti-doping doesn't intervene at all and there are no questions, no-one asks questions.

"[Yet] we have to be above everyone else and above the world sporting rules. So we're not guaranteeing anything, it's not for me to guarantee it [will be a clean race].

"But world cycling is not the little ugly duckling that we point our finger at."

epofuel More than 1 year ago
The Tour de France organizers are the LAST guys who should be opening their mouths. They fully knew the Armstrong deal, and let it happen because they had to, in order to recover from the Festina affair. Not only that, they know the WHOLE PELOTON was doping, and always had, but they let the show go on, for business interests. I agree - they can only do so much, but at least they should shut their traps and not make asinine comments like Jean Marie LeBlanc who called Armstrong the Bernie Madoff of Cycling. If he´s the Bernie Madoff, then who is Riis? And Indurain? Did not Virenque and Jalabert fool their own fans? This is why cycling remains pathetic - it is unable to live down the terrible double standard. Yes, Lance let cycling down, absolutely. But so did just about every other halfway decent pro of that era. And that includes Vaughters (I hope the scoundrel is reading), and most of his Garmin team. Nobody spoke out at the time. Nobody had a sack big enough, simple as that, save for guys like Bassons. But the only guys who spoke out were ex-dopers and doping enablers who only AFTER the fact wanted to save their own behinds. You know what? That is not good enough. Not good enough whatsoever. May the TDF organizers lose money, because they too profited off the whole doping era. And they were fully, fully, conscious of what was going on, and always have been.
Stalky More than 1 year ago
Good sir (I assume), I am in NO WAY about to try to justify what these athletes did (or continue to do) behind the scenes. I am only going to ask you to put yourself in the place of those such as Vaughters or others like him. People like him were stuck with the question, "what do we do??" and they made the wrong decision. However, "that's in the past," to quote dear Mr. Prudhomme. NO ONE can make up for what has taken place. It isn't going away. We don't need to extricate every last person who used or otherwise condoned the use of PEDs (although those who are toxic in that area need to be dealt with). What needs to happen is honesty. The sport is going nowhere if we don't know what happened, IN DETAIL. Something then has to be done, by everyone, to FIX the problem...not make a name for themselves by saying this or that about this rider or that rider...people like Lance have been objectified of late. That helps nothing in the sport. Perhaps they learn a few details about how it was done...but those who continue to do it will find new ways and methods. I guess I'm saying that pointing the finger at anyone (and also at everyone) does no good to help this situation. It puts them on the defense (because people are prideful) and it delays any sort of useful action in this area of doping.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Yes, it´s very easy to understand Vaughters, if, and only if, we understand Lance. In other words, the way Vaughters and his riders have been dealt with is totally irrational when taken in light of the Lance affair and Operacion Puerto. Granted, not all riders in Puerto are known or have been dealt with. To date, nobody can give me a good reason why Mancebo is still racing, which no punishment...but why Basso and Ulrich had other outcomes? Open the blood bags, I say. What Vaughters did was understandable, for sure. But then, what Lance did is also understandable, is it not? Of course it is. If one doper is understandable, then all dopers are understandable. I´m all for exoneration, but not selective exoneration. To see Tom Danielson get off lightly for years of serial doping is absurd. He and his coach, Rick Crawford, were some of the most vile critics of anti-dopers. For years, they did exactly as Lance did, badmouthing those who spoke out. That is absurd to see him back in the sport with a piddly six months suspension. Vaughters comes on here often, but he needs to zip it. He seems to be getting the picture these days, but his justifications are not welcome, unless he is also willing to justify Lance. Otherwise, he rings hollow. The TDF has a big issue on its hands. Of course they need to figure out how to make their race clean, otherwise, they too are part of the problem. They turned their back not just on Lance´s wrongdoings, but on THE WHOLE PELOTON for years and years and years, and that´s BS. So I agree with you, mostly, Stalky, that things should be IN THE PAST, basically...but that means that you have to accept guys like Lance and Ricco et. al. back in the sport, as Basso and Valverde and the Garmin boys and Mancebo are back in the sport. And nobody is willing to look at that, and that is heinous. Not one person has ever dealt with my question of what is the difference between a guy like Vaughters and Riccardo Ricco?
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
It seems odd to be promoting EPO in a username. I've heard the refrain before - poor old victimised Lance Armstrong, good, everyone else, bad. I wonder what the motivation is.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Alpe73Less than a minute ago Your comment is awaiting moderation I think the motivation is to recognize that Armstrong should be punished for his doping violations, which were no worse than others. As well, that others were non-cooperative at one point. As well, that upon further cooperation, Armstrong should have his sentence put in line with the others, as had been initially the plan, recognizing that Armstrong was wrong not to cooperate earlier. To fail to do this is to hang this whole fiasco, albeit an infraction of doping rules, ostensibly on one man. That's a load of cr __ ap.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Should have thrown some spam in there Alp, seems to help with the "moderation" process ;-)
HeadPack More than 1 year ago
I wonder if someone else is growing just as tired as I am of hearing cycling has changed, and cycling has moved on. Aren't these the very things we were fed after Festina and Puerto? Exactly. One may ask what has actually changed, when after one big and a few lesser cheats have been trapped, McQuaid and Verbruggen are still president and honorary president of the UCI, we see (ex)dopers winning races, running teams, pulling strings, etc. Nothing changes just by saying so. To be treated a stupid person for the simple fact one is a cycling fan hurts Mr Prudhomme.
bikerbruce More than 1 year ago
From where I sit, it has changed a lot, for the better, in the area of doping. In the 30+ years I've been involved, particularly the last decade we've seen these improvements: 1-much more severe punishments 2-whereabouts program 3-out of competition testing 4-bio passport 5-tests for EPO, some transfusions, CERA, etc 6-(seeming) erosion of omertà 7-emergence of WADA 8-cooperation between testing entities And maybe the biggest improvement--the only good I see out of the hideous "LA affair"-- is a realization, among all those in that industry, that continuation to accept doping as "part of the game" threatens all of their livelihoods.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
A lot of good comments, I would add though upon reading the article there seems to be an awful lot of bureaucracy and many difficulties for these organizations to work together. This is also essential that the process be streamlined and less officials get pissed off because some other organization is doing something.